La Favourari to the fore
LA Favourari made it three off the reel in the Royal Horse Pinnacle Stakes at Kenilworth yesterday but only after the race turned into a farce of theatre proportions. Tevez, at the time 2-1 favourite, played the lead role.
His celebrated short-lived patience with the pens was seemingly at minimum and he came out of them as fired up as a bullet coming down a gun barrel. Unfortunately for him, and for the race, starter Fred Bosman had still to press the button and the gate mechanism proved totally unable to withstand over half a tonne of horseflesh at full surge.
“He had to wait a second and a half in the pens and then he just decided to go,” reported ridder Donovan Dillon who recommended that his mount should not be asked to race again in view of the possibility of injury to the horse’s head.
Fortunately vet Eugene Reynders pronounced him unharmed but a number of the other six took too long to get their jockeys’ false start message and the fancied Kingston Passage (5-2) was promptly scratched by Brett Crawford who explained: “I wasn’t going to send him again. It was a five furlong race and his bubble was burst.”
Adam Marcus also decided that discretion was the better part of valour with longshot Prince Alfred and La Favourari was left to make all the running - but he had less than a length to spare over two of his three opponents.
“We had gone between 150 and 250m and that took a lot out of him,” reported Grant van Niekerk.
“But he showed guts finishing the way he did after what happened.”
It wasn’t only the horses and their connections who were put out but punters and bookmakers too. One of the former complained that he had been counting on an all-the-way romp from Kingston Passage while course layer Bertie Dobbie said: “Tevez and Kingston Passage were the only two horses I laid - and then I had to give all the money back again!”